As we move on to the second part of the season, I'm going to make some bold predictions for the second half of the Jacksonville Jaguars' season. As we go down the list, my predictions will get bolder and probably make some of you think that I'm smoking something.
5. The Jaguars Defense will End the Season in the Top 10.
It's not too hard to imagine. The Jaguars are already in the Top 5 going into Week 9. However, The Jags will start facing more explosive offenses in the second half of the season, playing the Texans, Chargers, Bucs, and Falcons in consecutive weeks.
4. Maurice Jones-Drew Will Set Career Marks in Yards from Scrimmage
In 2009, Maurice Jones-Drew had a combined 1,765 yards from scrimmage (1,391 rushing, 374 receiving). Currently, Mojo has 825 combined yards, which is on pace for 1,650 yards. With the less stout defenses that the Jags will be facing, it is reasonable to think that his numbers will improve, even though he has been on a record pace.
3. Mike Thomas Will Surpass Ernest Wilford, Matt Jones, and Reggie Williams in Career Catches by the End of the Season
Despite the flak Mike Thomas has been getting this season for getting a contract extension, his body of work speaks for itself. With his 33 catches in 2011, Mike Thomas currently has 145 career catches while Ernest Wilford, Matt Jones, and Reggie Williams (All Shack Harris picks) have 156, 166, and 189 catches respectively. Both Wilford's and Jones' numbers could be eclipsed by mid-December, but Reggie's stats might be a bit harder to obtain in 8 games.
2. Cecil Shorts will Have a Monster Game
I know , I know, you think I'm crazy. I know that the man hasn't even caiught a pass yet, but I think that he'll have a game like Tiquan Underwood's effort against the Colts last year. His ability to catch passes wasn't a problem in training camp nor in the preseason. It's just his route running and the little things. Maybe this bye week will ultimately stop his head from spinning so he can start making some plays. This is a pretty big step up from Mt. Union. Maybe he'll just emerge as another deep threat. Maybe Dirk Koetter will finally just use him in a screen play to take advantage of his speed. Either way, it just seems overdue.for him to string a couple of passes together.
1. The Offense's Ranking Will Rise to the early 20s
Yes, I'm calling it now. The Jaguars offense will improve to the point that it's ranking will hit the early 20s.Blaine Gabbert and the Jaguars offense have gone through a gauntlet of tough and stout defenses. With a lighter set of defenses stacked up for the second half of the schedule, Blaine Gabbert and the Jaguars passing offense should definitely improve, With increased passing success, Maurice Jones-Drew should be able to flourish. Who knows? He might go on another epic streak of 100 yard performances and lead the Jaguars to a winning record going into next year. It would definitely provide a spark for this city.
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